Top 5 things to do in Nicaragua, Central America

Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is an up and coming spot in central America. It is mainly visited by surfers who are looking for great waves for all different levels. Other backpackers that are looking into getting something similar to Costa Rica but less touristy and less expensive are also just finding out about Nicaragua.

When visiting the big cities, especially San Jan Del Sur, please remember to be extra careful. I loved the place and people are very nice but one street wrong and you could experience some freaky and scary situations you most likely want to avoid. And please whatever you do, do not visit Managua. It is a boring place with nothing special to see and very dangerous for both tourists and even for the locals. Also, do not cross the border to or from Nicaragua when dark and make sure you only have 1 taxi driver in the car when leaving the boarder…lessons learned😉 I have written a separate post about this.

I know you might wonder why one should visit then…as a matter of fact, Nicaragua is very beautiful and it is still very un-touristy, besides San Juan del sur, so it is definitely worth a visit!


We spent 2 months in Nicaragua and here are our top 5 things to do there:

1. Popoyo

Popoyo, Surfing- Nicaragua

This place is a secret spot and not many people have found it yet. It is very calm and pretty much in the middle of the jungle by the coast. There are a few cool and chill hostels and hotels built which are filled with cool surfers but that is pretty much it. This is a place you go to if you want to relax and/or surf. They have big clean waves here so nothing for beginners really😊

By the way, don’t miss the chance of going outdoors in the night to see the very clear milky way. Since there is not much lights around, you get to see every star on the sky. It is so beautiful and breath taking.

We stayed at Nica Waves and loved the place.  They have both doorms and cute private bungalows. The pool are is beautiful and the restaurant has great food.

2. San Juan del Sur

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

You go here if you are looking into partying and surfing. There are a lot of bars, hostels and restaurants around the central parts which is crowded until early hours in the morning. There is also a peaceful beach at the center which you can go to and realx after a wild night or play volleyboll with the locals. Please avoid the beach when dark.

If you are looking into surfing, go outside the city where you will find playa Maderas, Yankee, Hermosa, Remanso and Colorado.

We stayed at Pacha mama but thought the place was too much of a party place for us. We prioritoze surfing and are not so much for partying. But they have something called sunday funday which is a popular and famous pool crawl in the city.

3. Ometepe

Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ometepe, Nicaragua

Visit this island with two huge volcanic mountains. It is beautiful and everywhere you go you get to experience breathtaking nature. Rent a motorbike and go around the island to find natural springs, rich ecological life and beautiful waterfalls.

And please if you can, feed some dogs while on the island. I have never seen more misfortuned  dogs anywhere else. They are all very skinny and are treated very badly in this island. And by the way, be safe on the boat ride to and from Ometepe please haha. There are both slow and fast boats, and the fast boats are recommended. The slow boats are very old-fashioned and maybe not so safe.

We stayed at an airbnb place that was like  a hotel called Hefziba B&B. They had a big yard and had 10-15 private rooms all around it. They also rented bikes and motorbikes. The place was pretty chill and we liked the fact that they had free coffee there.

4. Playa Maderas

Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

I really liked this place, because it is only 20 minutes away from the city San Juan Del sur but has a much more calm and chill vibe than downtown with all the party people. Go to the beach to get a surf lesson, realx on the beach or at one of the bars . The roads are mostly dirt roads around here. There are a few hostels and hotels opened around the beach area which gives you a nice stay for almost no money.

Do not miss out of the beautiful sunset on the beach. You will for sure spot some awesome photographers around trying to catch cool shots of surfers, waves or just the very beautiful sunset.

We stayed at Casa Maderas and that costed 14 USD per night for the two of us! They have both dorms and private cute bungalows. The place is beautiful and very relaxing.  It is pretty quite and relaxing. One thing we did not like about Casa Maderas was that people could smoke anywhere around the hotel area and that could be pretty frustrating.

Watch Zack talking to the howler monkeys when hiking. I tried so hard, but they never answered me😂

5. Go Zip Lining

Zip lining view over Ometepe, San Juan Del Sur – Nicaragua

Watch this video from the zip-lining😂

Parque de Aventura Las Nubes-This company is owned by an American dude who has lived most of his life in Nicaragua and who got over a huge part of land and jungle for almost no money some years ago. He has now built one of the coolest, and believe it or not, safest, zip linings we have seen.

The trip in his car up to the mountain top where the zip lining is is scary but fun. It is a very bumpy and narrow dirt road and you think you will fall off the car any second. But he has driven this road for years and years and honestly you are pretty safe😊 Go and play Tarzan.  And by the way, you have a tremendous view from the hill over San Juan del sur and also the twin volcano mountains in Ometepe.

Have you been in Nicaragua?

Ok lovelies, see you soon in the next blog♥️

Much love


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